While penalties vary, every state takes drug distribution charges seriously. Florida has some of the stiffest penalties because of the state being close to countries with high drug trafficking rates. A Pensacola resident could face several penalties for drug distribution.
Definition of drug distribution
Florida defines drug distribution as the intentional possession, selling, manufacturing, buying and transporting a certain amount of a controlled substance. For example, sending illegal substances to someone by mail or coordinating a transport falls under distributing.
Drug distribution gets a stiffer penalty than simple drug possession, such as for personal use without intent to sell. Drugs are classified according to the risk for abuse with Schedule I associated with the highest abuse risk. Common controlled substances include heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, morphine, marijuana, LSD and oxycodone.
Drug trafficking commonly gets charged as a first-degree felony with a maximum and minimum sentencing, which could vary based on several factors. For example, a prosecutor could push for enhanced penalties for past convictions or if weapons or minor children are involved.
The penalty for distribution of 25 to 2,000 pounds of marijuana includes a minimum $25,000 fine and a minimum three-year jail term. The penalties increase to seven years in prison and a $50,000 fine for distributing 2,000 to 10,000 pounds of marihuana.
Distributing 28 grams to 200 grams of cocaine commonly includes a minimum penalty of three years in jail plus a $50,000 fine. Penalties for distributing 200 grams to 400 grams of cocaine include a minimum $100,000 fine and seven-year jail term. Penalties for some substances, such as heroin and LSD, may include a minimum of 15 years to life in prison and $500,000 fines.
Drug charge carry stiff penalties if a conviction is obtained, but people don’t have to fight them alone. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney can be a good start.